WINONA, Minn. (KMSP) - You can't go anywhere these days without seeing something about Star Wars, with the latest installment of the film franchise set to open in theaters next weekend. But true collectors know there is only one place to go if you want real Star Wars memorabilia.
Brian Semling fell in love with characters like Luke Skywalker and Han Solo a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, but his attempt to reconnect with his childhood after selling his original Star Wars toys introduced him to a whole new universe faster than the Millennium Falcon can jump to light speed.
"It started with the spark of watching the 'Return of the Jedi' movie and trying to get the toys I didn't' have. It's hard to say. So if I didn't sell my toys off maybe I would be in a better place today," Semling said.
At first, Semling bought and sold Star Wars memorabilia through the mail in his parents' garage while he was in high school. Now his company, Brian's Toys, is one of the largest online Star Wars stores in the world, with some vintage figures selling for tens of thousands of dollars.
With the new movie, 'The Force Awakens' set to open next week, prices for vintage Star Wars toys have doubled over the last three years.
With a new generation of fans ready to start collecting, Semling hopes the force will be with Brian's Toys for years to come.
"We've been going for 20 years and don't have any plans of stopping so we hope to have many years of continued success," Semling said.